Argonne and SRNL will collaborate in areas in which the two research facilities have complementary strengths, including actinide chemistry, separations science and technology, and computational chemistry and modeling. "Advances in these research areas are vital for any U.S. expansion of the use of safe, clean nuclear energy, closing the nuclear fuel cycle, and management of legacy nuclear materials," said Mark Peters, Argonne's program manager for GNEP and the Deputy to the Associate Laboratory Director of Energy Sciences and Engineering.
Actinide chemistry involves the study of radioactive heavy metals, such as uranium, neptunium, and plutonium, that are indigenous to nuclear energy processes. Maintenance of a core competency associated with actinide science is critical in order to sustain continued growth of nuclear programs in the U.S. and to effectively treat legacy nuclear materials. Argonnes actinide experience dates back to the earliest days of the Manhattan Project and is focused on basic scientific understanding and knowledge. SRNLs experience, which dates back to the early 1950s, has been generally focused on production-scale deployment, including the design and development of specialized technologies for the safe characterization, purification, stabilization, and disposition of these materials.
Separations science involves the design, study, and application of processes for separating mixtures of compounds into their component substances. The two laboratories have made significant contributions to the field over their histories. These contributions date to the earliest years of the U.S. nuclear enterprise and continue to support such national initiatives as GNEP. The labs will develop a joint plan for advancing separations science and technology programs to meet the current and future needs of DOE with a focus on the DOE Offices of Nuclear Energy (DOE-NE) and Environmental Management (DOE-EM).
|Contact: Angela Hardin|
DOE/Argonne National Laboratory